During early childhood I recall my mother having a close relationship with abuse which had become attached to her at a young age. My mother was victimized as a child suffering abuse at the hands of her parents. Her father was an abuser and her mother, who was also a victim, learned to be silent and submit to her husband’s abusive authority.
The role my mother played in my life was predetermined by abusive personalities that molded her into the hurt, misguided young woman she became. In respect to her own childhood and young adult experiences, I understand that she only functioned the way she was taught to function. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying hurt people hurt people right? It’s true. Majority of the time the person inflicting the pain doesn’t recognize that they are inflicting deliberate pain upon another person because they are already in relationship with pain. That pain dominates the way hurting people view life and circumstances.
I witnessed my mother move in and out of relationships where she was physically, emotionally, and mentally abused while her value as a woman was undermined. My mother had already survived a marriage where she was abused prior to my birth. If I can take abuse and her unhealthy baggage out of the equation I have to attribute the fact that my mother was a great person. She loves fiercely, she is loyal to the people she invites into her life, she is a nurturer and she genuinely loves her children. Her life has been dominated by the unhealthy weight.
Weight that began to attach itself to her as a young child coupled with the additional weight she picked up in her adult life relationships as she began to date and walk in roles such as mother and wife. My mother’s dysfunctional childhood set her up to live a dysfunctional adult life. This too, is my story…
However, I realize that though I can’t change how my story started I do have the power to change how my story ends. I recognize myself as a chain breaker. Therefore, my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will not be chained down by a series of unhealthy encounters with abuse, pain and rejection. I consider it a great blessing to be able to recognize God’s leading in pursuit of my personal healing.
As a young girl, I believed my mother’s attacks against me were personal. I felt she valued her other children, but resented me. However, as I grew older, I discovered that my siblings heard the same hurtful words and put downs and received the same treatment. By the time I reached 11 years I experienced sexual assault, physical, emotional and mental abuse which led to disconnection from my immediate family. I bounced around with people who couldn’t understand me, while lacking personal stability. By the time I reached age 15 I had a ton of baggage attached to my hips to drag around with me for the next 20 years.
Like my mother, I became a mother and wife at a very young age. My marriage was mentally, physically, verbally and financially abusive. Not only did I subject myself to the abuse that came at my husband’s hands, but I also had to face the abuse and disrespect that came from his friends and his mother, whose fault-finding spirit had a huge impact on our marriage. The relationship finally ended when his violent behavior almost ended the life of our 4 week old daughter.
The struggles I faced in my childhood continued to haunt my adult life. I always found that I dealt with things such as being lied on, misjudged, rejected, abused and undermined. My second marriage mirrored the first marriage in many ways. In the second marriage I encountered physical abuse, abusive power and control, spiritual and mental abuse. Though these two major marriage relationships was enough for alarms to be going off inside of me I continued to move from one dysfunctional relationship to the next not fully comprehending what I was battling.
This week I have been gaining a greater understanding of generational bondage. I’ve had to take quite a few moments to process my realizations because it has been a lot to consume. In the next post I will discuss what prompted me to start this series and wrap up relationships.